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What are the basic diffrences??????

I was wondering if you could help me out i am actually trying to figure out the basic diffrences between LINUX, UNIX, MAC and WINDOWS operating systems, so i can make a desion on which i want to run on my second computer?
Thank you for your time

Shawn Redd
Saturday, February 21, 2004

For practical purposes, the basic difference is what software each system runs. If there is some particular software you want to use which is not available for the OS on your main system, maybe you could get a second system which runs that software. Tell me more about what you want to accomplish with this second computer and what you want it to do for you and I can give you more useful advice.

Joel Spolsky
Fog Creek Software
Saturday, February 21, 2004

Slightly dated (how I miss the BeOS), but worth the read anyway.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Every operating system is there to provide services to user programs.  Basic services include Files, User-I/O, Communication, and Tasking.  The OS's you ask about all include these services. 

However, it's like asking how French is different from English.  You can say the same things, but the sentence is different.  Some things sound better, or are easier to say, in French than in English. 

Unix and Linux share a common heritage approach toward these services.  I understand MAC OS-X is now similar to Unix.

Windows was created out of a different legacy, and so 'looks' different to the programmer. 

What the programmer uses in his/her programs to interface with the operating system are "Operating System Calls".  These are library calls which the user's program calls to request the operating system's services.  In the Unix flavors, these are the 'Standard Library' calls.  In Windows, it's the Win32 API (although many 'Standard Library' calls on windows 'wrap' the Win32 API, so they work there also).

There's LOTS of books on both of these topics.  The Win32 API is documented in Petzold and Yao, "Programming Windows", and for VB programming I like Dan Appleman's "VB 6 Programmer's Guide to the Win32 API".
W. Richard Stevens "Advanced Programming in the Unix Environment" is a great book on using the Unix calls.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

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